Yes, I admit it. I'm a Seth junkie, and I promise I am not turning this blog into a Seth Godin fan club, but you really do need to check out his blog today.
His post today about viral marketing versus word of mouth provides you with key distinctions between these two forms of marketing (both great types of marketing for small business owners, understanding the differences is enlightening).
In this post there are a couple humorous chapters where Seth discusses one of his reader's dealings with a college professor who was not even aware of the term "viral marketing". This got me thinking about the future of higher education.
How can colleges and universities possibly keep up with the growth of self-education? Are these institutions now competing for the students in a "commoditized" industry just like banking, insurance, sugar? How will they compete? How will they stand out?
Higher education has always put a great divide between those who obtain their degrees, and those who do not. That was their USP.
Students today have more choices than ever, and though the norm has been that a college education leads to a better career, I wonder if that will still be the case in 50 years (or even 50 months). The marketing curriculum put together last Spring by the business professor, may already be outdated by the time he/she teaches the course in the Fall. Can higher education keep up?
Some universities are already making changes. Yale University is now offering FREE video courses to the public. MIT has also committed to open sharing of it's academic materials through its OpenCourseWare initiative. Are they trying to position themselves as the Linux (open source) in a Microsoft (closed, you can only buy it from me) run world?
I am very interested to see how this evolves, and if a Purple Cow comes out of it.